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Add Your Leaf to Our Community Identity Tree

Posted by UCSB Library on January 7, 2011

The theme for this year’s UCSB Reads Program is Our Bodies, Our Cells: Exploring Identity. The book chosen for discussion is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her by her cell name of  HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.

As we discuss the book we are focusing on the idea of “identity.”  To illustrate this we have an interactive art project on the first floor of Davidson Library just across from the main elevators.  We invite you to come in and contribute a fingerprint leaf to our community tree.  After you have added a leaf, please label it with your “cell name”—the first two letters of your first name and the first two letters of your last name.

For more information about the book and the activities that we are having on campus, see the UCSB Reads website.

Student adding a leaf to the Identity Tree

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